Pilares highlights HI guys in NFL

(HawaiiNewsNow) - Five guys with Hawaii ties laced it up for Sunday's NFL preseason action.


In East Rutherford, New Jersey, former Warrior Kealoha Pilares and his Carolina Panthers paid a visit to Metlife Stadium. The second year pro factored into almost every facet of the Panthers game, racking up 60 yards on three kick returns, 15 yards on a pair of receptions and three yards on a reverse in the 2nd quarter that required Pilares to intercept a toss from Cam Newton to running back Jonathan Stewart, retreat 10-yards behind the line of scrimmage to avoid a tackle, and eventually turn up field for the three yard gain.

On the Jets side of the ball, former Warrior Wayne Hunter watched much of the first half from the sideline. Last week, Jets head coach Rex Ryan demoted the struggling Hunter in favor of Austin Howard. However, Hunter did see time with the first team, coming in as a blocking tight end. In the second half, Hunter shifted to left tackle where he made his most impactful play  in the 4th quarter. On a broken play, quarterback Tim Tebow abandoned the pocket and rolled to his left. Cornered by defensive lineman Ryan Van Bergen, Hunter sprung Tebow by throwing a block on Van Bergen, which allowed Tebow to scramble for a 20 yard gain.

Fellow former Warrior receiver Royce Pollard was targeted twice in the 4th quarter with no receptions. The free-agent rookie also returned one kick off for 21 yards and one punt for 1 yard.

The Panthers edged out the win 17-12.


At Mile High, former Warrior Ikaika Alama-Francis suited up for his first game with the San Francisco 49ers. Sporting number 47, Alama-Francis recorded just one tackle, dragging down Knowshon Moreno after a 2 yard gain in the 2nd quarter.

Fellow UH alum Isaac Sopoaga earned the start on San Francisco's defensive line, racking up one tackle in limited action.The 49ers defeated the Broncos 29-24.